Salem Triathlon Report by Jen Hamilton

Salem Triathlon 2012 Award

Here’s a recent post from on by Jen Hamilton with contributing authors TeKoi Smith and Carolina Herrin on the Salem Triathlon.  If you participated and want to share your incredible exerience please do. Here’s the post:

The tenth running of the Salem Spring Triathlon held on June 2, 2012 made a king of B.J. Christenson and a queen of Jeanette Schellenberg. Christenson (01:01:00) bested Dave Warden (01:04:29) by nearly three minutes. Christenson had the fastest run split of the day (17:55).  Zachary Meinzer (01:04:50) finished in third place.

The women’s race came down to the run, where Schellenber
g (01:10:06) found an extra gear to distance herself from runner-up Sarah White (01:11:27). The two were virtually tied heading into T2. Schellenberg out ran White by nearly one minute. Skye Murphy (01:11:41) rounded out the women’s podium finishing a mere 14 seconds behind White.

Athletes raced in near perfect conditions with cool temperatures for most of the morning. A slight overcast and a mild breeze followed many of the racers through the bike. The sun broke through for much of the run, making the hills on the 5k course a little tougher to climb.  304 athletes participated the event, held in Salem, Utah.

Review by TeKoi Smith

RaceTri has been putting on this event for 10 years now and it is becoming a fine tuned, fun & competitive event for all triathletes from newbie to veteran.  I arrived somewhat early race morning as I like to be able to find a good spot in transition and not rush.  As soon as I pulled into the city of Salem, I could feel the buzz of excitement & anxiety coming from the other triathletes and I knew that it was going to be another fantastic race.

It didn’t take long for hundreds of people, triathletes, volunteers & spectators to gather and wait for the 1st wave to swim in the “Pond”.  The water temperature was low 60’s which is perfect for me, personally, as I have a full sleeve wetsuit.  The race started on time with each wave and when the gun went off I felt calm and collected in the washing machine that is called the swim.  It is always hit and miss to how long I will be beat up in an open water swim with hands, feet, heels to the face and swimming over and being swam over, and this time it seemed to be for the full 750 meters and I loved every minute of it.  Coming out of the water I was greeting by firemen spraying everyone with “clean” water and it’s always fun to run up the grassy knoll into T1.

The bike course starts off flat for you to get your feet underneath you, but quickly takes you up 2 short hills where I need to downshift to be more efficient.  It is a 2 loop course that has gentle rollers and hills for you to climb and descend at a very fast pace.  Right before you come into T2 everything is pretty flat and then takes you down a hill so you’re legs feel good for the hilly run.  The bike course takes you on some rural roads that can be bumpy so be careful!

The run course changed this year to avoid cross traffic with the cyclists which made for a very hilly run.  In the past, the run has been about 1 mile and change up and then flattens out before you descend.  This year it took you up a hill that was almost 2 miles long.  It’s not terribly hard or long, but you’re not going to PR on this 5K for sure.  The aid station was right around the 2 mile mark and then you made a quick descent that leads you into the finish line.

The end of RaceTri’s Salem Spring Sprint is amazing. The finish line is full of families & friends and the awards ceremony is fun for everyone. TriEdge was there as well to provide some raffle prizes as well.

RaceTri’s Salem Spring Sprint is an excellent way to start your season with a great open water swim and fun all around.  I’ll be there next year, will you?

Review by Carolina Herrin

“Am I really going to be doing this?”  I asked myself as I looked into the water at the Salem Pond, watching the Pro’s head out and quickly swim away.  I have never done this before- I haven’t even swam since High School swim team.  As I got in the water, I knew it was now or never!  The sound from the starting horn faded away and after a few strokes, I caught myself thinking, “I can’t turn around now.  Just keep swimming.  Biking is your favorite, running is fun and then you’re done!”
But the most interesting thing to me was that my number one thought always seemed to be; “Wow, I like this!”

The water temperature felt just right to me.  Great swim course.  A long stretch out and under the Salem Bridge, for a quick turnaround up to the beach.  It was nice to know that there were so many volunteers in the water ready to help you, if needed.  Coming out of the water, it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces.  I really enjoyed having their support, as this was my first real race.  I have been around many who are involved in triathlons, but have never trained or found the time to do one.

During the transition, I quickly slipped on my bike shoes, threw on a shirt and got biking up the gigantic hill.  The bike course was just right.  I loved the hill and the challenged it posed.  There was just enough elevation on the course, for a beginner to handle.  Throughout the bike course, I noticed how well marked it was.  There were plenty of spray painted warnings on the road, marking the rough road, cracks and especially the manhole covers.  I also saw plenty of words of encouragement marked on the course.

Coming in from the bike, the volunteers did an amazing job directing and talking you back into the transition area.  I could feel the sun beating down on me a bit more now and I had this incredible feeling of joy, as I was two thirds of the way done.  It’s funny how in my head I was moving fast through the transition, trying to slow my breathing down, getting my Altra’s on, but looking at my transition time, I sure took it slow.  Plenty of support from the crowd and the volunteers kept me going and I soon found myself out onto the run course.

My favorite had to be; you start the run going over a bridge and end it going over a bridge.  So cool!  The run course was well marked and again, with just the right amount of challenges for a beginner triathlete.  I loved the fact that you’re going up on the way out and coming down on the way in.  The aid station on the run was well manned and stocked up on cold water and power gels.  As I cornered the last bit and was able to see the finish line, I couldn’t believe that I had just done my first triathlon.

Crossing the finish and getting that very large, awesome, finishers medal; what a feeling! I again, had the same thought I had at the beginning of the race; “Wow, I like this!”  This was such an amazing experience. The volunteers were great, the spectators were wonderful cheering everyone on and the overall atmosphere at the finish line is one that can’t be beat.
The Salem Spring Triathlon is a must for beginners and pro’s alike and I can’t wait to come back next year and improve on my time.  Thanks Racetri and Triathlete’s Edge. I can’t think of a better way to have spent my Saturday morning.